The Albertine Book Club

On October 15, join bestselling author and screenwriter Antonin Baudry for a discussion on Jean-Paul Sartre’s perspective-altering autobiographical novel, Les Mots (The Words), published in 1963.

With uncommon lucidity, Sartre draws the reader through the first ten years of his life—idyllic, then filled with insecurity—while reflecting on his own relationship with reading and writing. Les Mots unfolds like a mathematical proof of the mind and seems to suggest, as did Freud, that the nuances of human psychology are traceable back to a very specific source, event, or circumstance. Sartre sharply skewers childhood and pins it to his dissection table, where all its false beliefs are identified and smashed. Interwoven with the tenants of existential philosophy,

Les Mots arrives at the disillusionment of adulthood only after engaging in a reflective literary trance. Hailed by the 1964 Nobel Committee as a text “rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth,” Les Mots remains a staple of French literature. It joins the Albertine Book Club’s collection of life-changing and personally instructive narratives.

French and English versions of Les Mots are presently available for purchase at Albertine. The discussion is led in English and French. Speakers of English and/or French are encouraged to attend. The Albertine Book Club is free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.

Antonin Baudry is a writer, former diplomat, and founder of Albertine Books in French and English, New York’s only French reading room and bookshop. Baudry most recently held positions as Ambassador for French Culture and President of the Institut Français in Paris (2015), where he created initiatives to promote French culture across the globe, and Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States (2010 to 2015), where he oversaw French-American cultural relations and supported French universities, arts, literature and education to cultural and academic institutions across the United States. He created a renewed connection between France and the United States with a team spread between New York, Washington and eight other American cities. In his role as Cultural Counselor, Baudry also served as the Permanent Representative of the French Universities in the United States and fostered French-American higher education exchanges, creating opportunities for researchers, scholars and students to collaborate.

Baudry is the Founder of Albertine Books in French and English, which opened its doors in New York in September 2014. Offering over 14,000 titles in French and in translation, the combination reading room, bookshop, and venue is a project of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and provides a singular hub for French-American intellectual exchange in New York. Albertine serves as a new forum for debates and discussions on subjects from politics, to economics, to art, literature, and the sciences that explore culture through a modern and global lens.

Under the pen name of Abel Lanzac, Baudry received the prize for best album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival with designer Christophe Blain in February 2013 for the second installment of their graphic novel series Quai d’Orsay. Baudry and Blain also received the RTL graphic novel Grand Prize in December 2010 for the first installment of the same series.

The film adaptation of Quai d’Orsay premiered in November 2013 and won the special jury prize for best screenplay at the Saint-Sébastien Film Festival in September 2013 and the Prix Jacques Prévert screenplay prize in February 2014 for best adaptation. The film was also chosen as a special presentation at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for a 2014 César award for best adaptation.

Baudry is an alumnus of both the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm) and the Ecole Polytechnique.